6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. 8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:6–10, NKJV)
Sin intruded upon the idyll setting of Eden’s fellowship between God and mankind, bringing death, shame and fear. Committing sin produced knowledge of their nakedness, prompting Adam and Eve’s attempt to lessen their shame with fig leaf coverings. Their sin also caused them to experience fear for the first time. Hearing God’s voice heightened their sense of shame, and being afraid because they were naked, Adam and Eve hid themselves. Their leave coverings had not remedied their nakedness, nor did it remove the shame of their sin. Sin causes shame and fear as it separates us from God. Thank God, we do not have to live in the shame, fear and death of our sins. God provides forgiveness of our sins in His Son, Jesus (1 John 5:11-13). In Christ there is life instead of death, fellowship instead of shame, and faith instead of fear.
20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. (Genesis 3:20–21, NKJV)
With acute brevity, this passage affirms the primacy of marriage, the place of motherhood, and the value of modesty. Unlike today’s cultural norm, Adam and Eve did not live together before marriage (to see whether they were compatible). According to God’s arrangement, marriage comes first, enjoined by a mutual commitment to live together for life (Genesis 2:22-25). According to God’s arrangement, marriage precedes parentage, not the other way around. Adam named his wife, “Eve,” because she is the “life-giver.” How very contrary to the view that a woman has the right to take the life that is formed within her. Abortion is hostile to woman’s dignity, and to life itself, as well as woman’s role as the life-giver. According to God’s arrangement, mere “coverings” to hide one’s nakedness is not sufficient clothing for the human body (Genesis 3:7). So, He clothed Adam and Eve with tunics of skin. This clothing provided warmth and protection to their bodies, as well as the necessary apparel to cover the shame of their nakedness (a consequence of their sin, Genesis 2:25; 3:7, 10). The exposure of the body is for one’s spouse, not for the eyes of the world (1 Corinthians 7:2-4). The modest person dresses accordingly (1 Timothy 2:9-10).
17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field.” (Genesis 3:17–18, NKJV)
Adam failed in his responsibility to lead his wife away from sin. Furthermore, he willingly participated in sin with her (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:6). Not only did Adam and Eve experience the separation from God their sin produced that day, ongoing consequences resulted that continue to impact all of humanity. Man would no longer benefit from the easy, abundant access to food God’s garden provided. Now, only by daily toil and labor, to overcome reoccurring obstacles, would he feed himself and his family. There are men today who resist the divine charge to provide for their own household (1 Timothy 5:8). Yet, as leader and head of his wife, it is the husband’s God-given responsibility to lead his wife with love, laboring to sustain life for himself and his family (Ephesians 5:25-29). Husbands must step up to the plate, and meet their responsibility to lead, to work, and to provide. Doing so will strengthen your family, and fulfill God’s will.
To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16, NKJV)
With these words He spoke to Eve, God not only increased her pain and sorrow in conception and childbirth, He also permanently confirmed the relation of the wife to her husband as one of desire, dependence, and deferential submissiveness. The word “desire” means “to run, to have a vehement longing for a thing” (Pulpit Commentary). Thus, God gave distinct, definable roles to women and men. The husband has the role of leader, and the wife has the role of willing follower (Ephesians 5:22-25; 1 Peter 3:1-6). The reversal of these roles led to sin: “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’…” (Genesis 3:17). The wife’s submissiveness to her husband’s leadership brings definable stability to the family, and to society. The husband is to lead his wife with love, and the wife is to defer to his leadership with devotion. Husbands must honor their wives, not oppress them (1 Peter 3:7). And, wives are to be submissive to their own husbands (1 Peter 3:1). God challenges wives to be sure your desire is for your husband, and not for another man, or for the man’s role in your marriage.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:21–24, NKJV)
God created woman to complete man; without Eve, Adam had no comparable companion (see Genesis 2:18-20). The wisdom of God is on full display as He fashioned Eve from Adam’s rib. They are now inseparable; one flesh. This informs us of the relationship between the husband and the wife. No longer separate, in marriage they are “one flesh”, united in both body and soul. This God-formed and lifelong union of husband and wife in marriage is the cohesive bond of the family and of society itself. Whenever marriage is redefined and replaced by the will of human beings, society’s building block, the family, is undermined and destroyed. No society can long endure that thumbs its nose at marriage as God has designed it and defined it in His word. Honor marriage; not the sinful imitations of the real thing (read Hebrews 13:4).